How to write a LinkedIn Profile

How to write a LinkedIn profile 

LinkedIn now boasts over 500m users across the world. While this may not be up there with Facebook numbers, it has without doubt, proved itself the social media platform for the business community. It’s a useful tool for building contacts and gaining market intelligence. For job seekers, it’s become an indispensable part of the job hunting armoury.
Include a photo

Whilst you would not generally include a photo in a CV, with your LinkedIn profile it is very important to include one. It greatly increases engagement. No one wants to connect with an impersonal grey box. Ideally, the photo should be a head and shoulders shot. Choose a photo showing a natural, relaxed smile. You want to strike the right balance between not looking too formal but not looking too casual either.

Include a background image

LinkedIn, like all websites, is predominantly a visual experience. Including a background image gives your profile further originality and personality. You can choose something abstract or related to your role. Ideally, the colours of the image will contrast well with the colour of profile page. You may want to edit the image first and you can adjust the placement within the profile to get the right visual impact.

Write your LinkedIn profile in first person

CVs should be written in third person, however, you should write a LinkedIn profile in first person. You are striking up a conversation with the reader – so you need to address them directly as if face-to-face. For this reason, it is also better to write in short paragraphs rather than bullet points. We don’t naturally talk in bullet points and paragraphs more accurately reflect the way we speak.

Optimise the headline and summary

As a job seeker, you want your profile to appear when recruiters search profiles for relevant key skills. So including key skills related to your area of financial expertise is vital. This is particularly so in the headline and summary as these sections are weighted more heavily by the algorithms used within LinkedIn for when people do key word searches. Change the default setting in the headline to more accurately reflect the most commonly known job title for what you do eg. ‘financial analyst’ or ‘financial controller’.

Make yourself visible

When writing your LinkedIn profile, you want it to be visible to as many relevant people as possible. There are various options within the ‘job seeking preferences’ and ‘profile viewing’ sections to make your profile more or less visible to users and potential job approaches. The more visible your profile, the more opportunities you create for people to connect but it is down to you which setting you feel most comfortable with.

Ask for recommendations

Recommendations always look good in your LinkedIn profile. Ideally get at least two for every employment. These act as third party endorsements and can be powerful statements in people’s own words. Most connections will be only too flattered to be asked. As recommendations are in the public domain you can also use snippets of good recommendations in your CV too.

Search for jobs

You can also use your LinkedIn profile to search for jobs. In the search field at the top you should select the ‘jobs’ option and then use key words that are most commonly used for the type of job you are looking to apply for. You should also connect with relevant employment groups and employers that you would like to work for. Make full use of all the different connection possibilities to build your network.

Be active and keep your profile up-to-date

If you are an active job seeker you should really check in to LinkedIn at least once a day. It’s also really important that your profile is up-to-date and presents a consistent story to your CV. Remember, when an employer reads your CV the next place they will go to find out more about you will probably be LinkedIn. So make sure job titles are aligned and dates are reflected accurately between both.

Like help with your LinkedIn profile? Check out our LinkedIn profile writing service

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